Rutgers puts stamp on Robeson honors

February 7th, 2004

The recent release of a commemorative U.S. postage stamp gave Rutgers a chance to honor the late son of a former slave who became the university's first All-American athlete and its most towering alumnus.

Paul Robeson was celebrated in a ceremony that saluted his achievements as a human-rights activist, attorney, athlete, orator, performer on stage and screen and the valedictorian of Rutgers' Class of 1919.

Coming one month after the release of a 37-cent stamp bearing Robeson's portrait, the ceremony coincided with the unveiling of a limited-edition cachet featuring a special cancelation mark bearing the Rutgers logo.

The celebration featured musical interludes that filled Kirkpatrick Chapel with a piercing solo by singer-actress Melba Moore and a gospel hymn in Robeson's own unearthly, recorded baritone, to which students from New Brunswick's Paul Robeson Community Theme School for the Arts danced.

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